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ASH

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Introduction

Note that this hack has no real name and this story is based on truth. Even though it was the early 2000's I was still crazed with old games like the NES which I always played at my cousins, and the Gameboy that I found on the road. Even today that obsession over these games still shine due to my diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome which still pushes me to find the truth about hacked games, all starting here.

Story

A few years back we were getting a new sofa for the living room. We ripped open the bottom of the sofa to see what contents were hidden from time under the padding. Much to my surprise a copy of Pokémon Yellow dropped out that I don't recall ever owning or losing one. I couldn't be sure if it was the game of possibly a previous owner of the furniture but since we had those ugly grey uncomfortable things for decades no one was sure if the sofas had another owner or now. Either way I was delighted to have a new Pokémon game being at the age of 8.

On the exterior of the cartridge nothing looks out of place, everything is official and only a loose screw seems to be messed with implying that someone tampered with the rom board in some way shape or form. Also there was a blue streak on the left of the cartridge that looks like an ink mark and a smudge across Pikachu's left eye but other than that it was a perfect looking copy of Pokémon Yellow, that is until I started playing.

IMG 0388

 I can remember most of what happened in my old bedroom that afternoon in the very early 2000's. I put the game in my Gameboy Color and started it up with anticipation in my mind. Everything seemed to play out normal, that awesome Pikachu intro with him floating on balloons and on a surfboard which always intrigued me why those two weren't in the actual game. Then on the menu I saw that a save file called ASH was shown with 7 badges, 56 Pokémon caught, and with 44 hours and 51 minutes clocked in. I was trying to decide whether to see what was on the save file or just delete it but during this I accidentally hit the save and was put into a Pokémon Center with Pikachu. I can't remember all the details about what happened, of course my party had Pikachu and all 3 starters but other than that I can't remember.

As I walked outside I realized that I was in Saffron City and everything seemed normal. However the music seemed to be off like it was a bad sample and the color palettes throughout the game were changed to varying degree. The game was at first playing like normal except for some graphical bugs and I was enjoying it a lot. I finished the Celadon Casino puzzle and eventually beat the last gym leader, Giovanni. By the time I got to the Elite Four I would be getting beat after god knows how many attempts. Eventually I decided to wander around the map to level up my Pokémon more starting back at Pallet Town for my weaker team. It soon became clear however that the color palettes were getting increasingly darker and darker and while in Pallet, the dialogue was slightly altered although I can't remember exactly what they said, something about me not being the true champion to be even though I had the same face.  

IMG 0389

7, 56, 44, 51

But I do remember exactly what Mom said. "You are not my ASH, although you look and sound like my son, he is no longer there. Who are you?" At that point I realized that this was a hacked game, not a fake copy but a true blue hack job done to a real copy. While this was kinda cool now I had to deal with whatever the hacker put in which seems to be that they knew that someone was going to use this save file. As I was leveling up I noticed most people had malice for me through their dialogue. "Your do not belong in this place, leave now." "Dirty imposter, damn you." And all this other stuff you don't want to hear as a little kid. Then something really unexpected happened.

As I got back into Saffron City the screen cut to black for about a minute and a half while I could still hear screeches from the speaker, when the screen came back, the sprites of the normal inhabitants were now lying on the ground, unmoving. ASH's sprite was now outlined in a very dark color of red like a maroon color with Pikachu no longer behind him. This shocked me to think that maybe ASH not being the same person wasn't due to me, but some other force slowly trying to get through. So I played on to find out like one of those novels that you just know that the ending will break you but you just must play on to find out the mystery. Every time I entered a new area the screen would fade black and anyone who had been standing was now on the ground, not even a single Pokémon was in the tall grass.

Lavender town which didn't have the same cruel fate, in fact everything seemed normal. ASH's sprite wasn't discolored and Pikachu was back again. Feeling a sign of relief that I could start finding out more information behind what was going on. I walked through the Pokémon tower that appeared to be empty and made it to the top of the tower to find a white sprite of ASH was at the shrines and by this time again Pikachu was gone again probably from fear. I walked up to it and a text box appeared stating, "???: Finally you have come ASH. Do you know who I am?" A yes or no selection came up so I chose no hoping to get more information. "ASH: ..." Then I got this response.

Lavenderred

The Ghost sprite

"???: My spirit has manifested in you ever since your journey began, as the more and more you battled, the stronger my energy got, so much so that I was able to temporarily cause you to black out, take over your body, and gain more energy from stealing the souls that are now dead, all with you to blame. This town has a barrier trapping all lost souls to this accursed tower, however with the energy from these other souls I can now not only manifest fully, but I can possess you permanently and take back my place back as the Pokémon master."

Battle music played as the encounter animation played and there was the white apparition, standing with almost all the same features as my character. His Pokémon all appeared to be ghosts to; not ghost types, but just plain ghosts all level 100+. His party was Charizard, Blastoise, Lapras, Zapdos, Raichu, and one just called ghost, using the same sprite as the ghosts from before you get a Silph scope. Most of my Pokémon were also high level and somehow even though they were 100+ my opponents Pokémon were easy to take down with some effort. I was somehow able to grind through all his Pokémon but it was costly, we were both down to our last Pokémon, Pikachu and that ghost. I was able to level Pikachu up to a point where his thunderbolt would blast through any Pokémon with a one hit KO, but this time nothing I used had an effect. At first the ghost would sit and wait until I tried every move, then the Ghost used Curse.

I knew that this wasn't a move yet and wondered what this was. With one hit my Pikachu went down and I blacked out. The thing was this blackout took several minutes to end. I came back to seeing both me and Pikachu lying on the ground. At that time the white ghost merged into my dead character that rose back up. Then this message appeared.

"???: Finally a body to live again, I must return from where I was born and begin my adventure anew. I am still hungry and the souls are dry from this place, except for yours young trainer, I still sense your presence, watching me. Well that can be fixed, time to finish this, my friend..."

And with that my screen went white, I restarted the Gameboy not saving and noticed that the file had saved, everything now was set to zero, and I couldn't access the data. Every minute the counter would actually go up as if it was being played. The name of the file? RED.

Epilogue

Feb 10, 2013: After the file reached 8 badges and 150 Pokémon the save file erased itself. I started a new game with the name ASH, and still play perfectly normal as if it was never hacked.

March 19, 2013: Today I just caught my 56th Pokémon and got my 7th badge. I've just hit the 44:51 mark for playing too while playing at a friend’s house.

March 20, 2013: I can't find the game now when I got home, the last place I remember it being was on my friends old sofa they were gonna sell.

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